The evening of July 7 was an occasion of thanksgiving and rejoicing for the parishioners of Our Lady of Fatima RC Parish in Meota.
Approximately 90 parishioners and visitors gathered to participate in the Holy Mass with celebrant, his excellency, most reverend Albert Thevenot, Bishop of the Diocese of Prince Albert, and concelebrants Father Greg Elder, Father DJ Vu and Father Phinh Do.
Knights of Columbus, Fourth Degree from the Battlefords formed an honour guard and presented the parish with a new ciborium. Prayers of rededication and blessing of the expanded and restored church were led by Bishop Thevenot.
The original Catholic Church in Meota was constructed in 1957-58 on two lots donated by Mr. and Mrs. John Boalsko. The beautiful church bell, donated by Mr. Colley in 1961, was incorporated into a new bell tower and embellished with an electronic ringer.
In the summer of 2003, Our Lady of Fatima Church merged with St Hippolyte Church in Vawn, and was brought under the pastoral ministry of St Vital Church in Battleford. This "family" remains intact, with the recent addition of St Jean Baptiste Church in Delmas. Father Greg Elder has been pastor of this family of parishes since 2007.
In 2006, Our Lady of Fatima Church was the grateful recipient of a generous bequest from the estate of Carolyn Pace, with her request this money be used to enhance the Church. A second contribution later than year by Bernard Franz enhanced the building fund, and planning began for an addition to and restoration of the existing church. The goals were: to make the church fully accessible for worship and parish social life; to complete necessary maintenance and upgrades in an aging building; to incorporate modest office space; and to allow indoor space for fellowship following mass.
Our Lady of Fatima Church contracted with Edco Builders (Matt Edwards) of Meota, who worked with a committee of parishioners: Gil Cadrin, Nestor Fransoo, Paul Meiers, Linda Levesque and Father Elder. The basement was dug Oct. 19, 2010. During the restoration, mass was celebrated in the church basement. The first Eucharist was celebrated in the new church on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011.
Parish council chairperson Linda Levesque expressed gratitude to everyone who gave generously of their time, energy, skills and support to make this project a success. She said, "Glory to God for his loving providence in providing the means, and blessing us with the courage, confidence and steam to take this on and see it through. We believe God wishes us to flourish in living out His call to love and serve Him and one another."
Refreshments were served following the ceremony to enable fellowship and close a memorable evening for our community.
- Submitted by Linda Levesque